A devastating fire in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town on Sunday cost several families their homes. The leading humanitarian organization in Belize, the Belize Red Cross, has sprung into action through its local branch and working with other organizations. With more here is Director General Lily Bowman.
Lily Bowman – Belize Red Cross Director General
“This is led by our San Pedro Branch who have been extreamly active and very quick to respond, from the very beginning. We have been sending relief items out there that they will be distributing from today, but before that they were carrying out their assessments. Then in collaboration with the Mayor, the Town Council with the Lions Club, and with NEMO of course, they have been gathering supplies and taking care of those people. It is a community effort, being done in San Pedro, and yesterday they had a radio[appeal] raising funds for relief assistance. We’re still watching the situation, because NEMO is the leader in the response. So, we are just watching the situation, and seeing if it’s necessary [to appeal nationwide], then of course we will.”
According to Bowman the Red Cross assesses needs and moves in as needed. One of the important aspects of that help is the psychological trauma of the newly homeless. Bowman explains why this is important to heal as well.
“Well I am sure that they have seen trauma. We have seen it on the news as well. I am not sure, standing here, if they have actually gone to speak with the affected people, person to person to find out their mental state. But of course, we have all seen the trauma in their faces. Losing everything that you ever owned is not an easy thing. We do have a psycho-social support program, that if it is accepted and if it is something that they need, we will be applying it to them.”
Tropic Air, Maya Island Air and Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association are transporting the items to the island free of charge.